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An Interview with Scott Ballard, Director of Friday Afternoon in the Universe

by Mike Haberfelner

June 2015

Scott Ballard on (re)Search my Trash


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Your upcoming movie Friday Afternoon in the Universe - in a few words, what's it going to be about?


Friday Afternoon In The Universe is a comedic feature film following the psychological adventures of a playwright in search of an ending. Eleanor is stuck in a devolving routine, unable to finish her latest play until an ex-lover is revealed to have stolen her latest work. It is a zany revenge film filled with laughs, heart and visual beauty. An adventurous exploration of the creative process and personal struggles, the film is half told in the theater of Eleanor's imagination and half on the road.


What were your sources of inspiration when writing Friday Afternoon in the Universe? And was any of this based on personal experience, actually, and/or do you sometimes see yourself as a playwright in search of an ending?


My last three feature films have dealt with death and I wanted to start a new trilogy that was about redemption and filled with life. One of my early creative influences was Kerouac and the title comes from one of his poems. I remember reading The Dharma Bums on the school bus and my imagination being filled with stories from the road. As a writer and as a filmmaker, I find myself filled with both excitement and dread when I am finishing a project. There is a certain amount of sadness that comes from letting go of the characters the worlds that I have created.

All of these things came together to influence the story. Eleanor and I do share a lot of qualities. When Jordan Eusebio and I started writing the script, we drew a lot of inspiration from our personal histories in filmmaking and our relationship with the process.


What can you tell us about your co-writer Jordan Eusebio, and what was your collaboration like?


Working with Jordan Eusebio is a seamless process. Jordan has collaborated with me in development and on set with each of my features. He is like a brother, in that we have an intuitive deeply similar way of communicating. We exist on a very similar plane. But we also have enough differences that help to challenge and deepen our understanding of the characters we create. When it came to writing Friday Afternoon In The Universe, I knew I would benefit from co-writing, which is the first time I've collaborated in writing with someone. 

We live 2000 miles from each other, so a lot of the early development was done through emails and extended phone calls. We met in San Francisco last fall and spent 3 days walking the city, obsessed with finishing the script. Miles of pavement worked!


How would you describe your film's brand of humour?


The film has a situational style humor. The three characters that go on the road together each have their own style. Eleanor has a dark/brooding sense of humor, Charlotte has a mordant sense of humor and Frank is very deadpan. The characters are so caught up in their own psychological state when they cross paths, that they are unaware of how strange they have become in relating to each other. As their stories and psychosis unravel, the humor lies in the dynamic of the three lead characters.


The film has a road movie vibe to it - so can you at all talk about some of the locations you plan to film in?


The road serves as a sort of purgatory that the three characters exist in, framing their individual narratives as we transition from the car to the stage of Eleanor's imagination where we see the stories take form. We will be filming all along Highway 101, which runs down the Oregon Coast to San Francisco.


What can you tell us about the intended overall look and feel of your movie?


The feel of the film will move between a very loose style during momentum fueled journey and a very restrained and controlled style during the theater/stage scenes. The dichotomy of these styles is driven by Eleanor's dualistic adventure - to both seek revenge and to finish her play. Gradually, the lines begin to blur.

I am always very visual with my films, so inevitably even the looser style will have a very intentional framing, lighting and movement - letting the looseness come from the performances.


Anything you can tell us about your key cast and crew yet, and why exactly these people?


I can only mention a few at this time. Kevin Forrest will be the cinematographer for the film. He was my cinematographer for my previous film Death On A Rock. Katy Beckemeyer (Future Perfect, C.O.G., Grimm) Rachael Perrell-Fosket (Grimm and star of Death On A Rock, for which she has won Best Female Role at the 2015 Philadelphia International Film Festival) and Colin Smith (Monkfish).  I am endlessly blessed to consistently work with an extremely talented team here in Portland, Oregon.


As far as I know, your film is presently still in its fundraising stages - so what can you tell us about your fundraising efforts?


We have a two-part funding effort. Currently, we are raising funds and grass roots marketing through Kickstarter which will give us the seed money to be able to approach investors for the rest of the budget. Fundraising is always difficult, but the success of my previous films, A Standing Still and Death On A Rock, plus some exciting casting news that I will be able to release soon are great leverage for successful funding. Currently, our Kickstarter campaign is live and any dollar helps us get to our goal!


Once your funds are raised, what's the schedule, and any idea when and where your film might be released, however tentatively?


A successful Kickstarter campaign gives us the green light to move into pre-produciton. We are filming in November 2015 and plan to release the film to festivals by late fall 2016.


Any future projects beyond Friday Afternoon in the Universe?


Feeling lucky ?
Want to
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The links below
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Germany (East AND West)

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Find Scott Ballard here ...

Your shop for all things Thai

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(Must be over 18 to go there !)

x-rated  find Scott Ballard at

Jordan and I have several works in development, including another feature, a sci-fi web series and a documentary. Our slogan is ONWARD, we are always talking about the next project.  I am also a founding member of the Portland-based Great Notion Filmmaker's Collective ( and we have several exciting projects in development and released.


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, Kickstarter, whatever else?


You can check out the film at:,, and


Anything else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


Please take a look at our project! As an indie filmmaker, any amount of financial or media support helps out.


Thanks for the interview!


Thank you so much!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.

Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD